Besides my wood cutting/sanding, I've been working on the bead stair and beads for everything the decimel activity, decanomial board, snake game, negative snake game, long and short chaings, etc. You need a lot of beads! I bought most of my beads from http://shipwreckbeads.com/ I bought 8mm arcylic multi-faceted round beads in all the different colors. For $4.95 I got 900 beads of each color. The only color they were missing was brown and I just put in a order for that somewhere else! So for $45 I got all the beads I should ever need (besides the gold ones). I got the gold 8mm round beads from Joann's in packs of 400 for $3.95. Wait for the jewelry to be on sale (it frequently goes on sale for 25-30% off) and then if you are a homeschooler or teacher you can get a Joann's teacher card that will give you an additional 15% off all regular, sale and clearance items (whenever you don't use a coupon!). I also bought the wire there. I am using 16 gauge wire. I use gold wire for the gold beads (it looks so pretty this way!) and the silver for all the other colors. I used math u see with my son last year and just sold the blocks to someone online, but kept the boxes. I'm hoping all the beads for the decanomial set will fit in here. So far I have 55 10 bars, one, two, and three bars..the rest just have about 20.
Here is the colors to make the Bead Stair:
5 light blue
9 dark blue